People Skills: Bossy or Helpful?

New Year's Eve

Image by erin m via Flickr

Boxes, overflowing drawers, cupboards that hadn’t been opened in awhile that contained lids and kids art and mismatched utensils. That’s what greeted me as I entered the house to help my friend move. Have you been there?

Her hair was coming out of the band of her ponytail, she smiled and kissed me and I could tell she was exhausted. We got busy; as more friends came it became apparent that she was reaching her end – though the only person who could help us help her was her.

So I got organized. “Let’s put the big truck boxes here, the goodwill there and stuff to your kids here.” I instructed – mostly because every time we asked her she had to explain that in this pile different things were going different places. “Okay – let’s make this simple.” And I pushed.

After awhile she began to call me “bossy” although she smiled. I kept saying, just point and we’ll move it, or pack it or push it or whatever way we had to help her.

It occurred to me that this happens in business too – we have a project that we feel overwhelmed by, there are moving parts, different people needing different things ready at different times.

This can unravel us and overwhelm us – or we can get organized. – This can be taken as bossiness – or helpfulness – depending on how you do it – and how prepared the other person is.

Preparation is key – it eases tensions, it allows some space for communication – and the more prepared a person is – the more they can stand their ground when challenged, or take in additional ideas that improve their plan.

Also, those with a plan easily slip into leadership – they have an end in mind, people are comforted – it’s easier.

My friend was actually prepared – she had lined up the moving people, she had all the packing materials, and she got us there –

What ended up happening – and the lesson for me is; it’s vital to have someone to take point for the leader, to keep the focus, and keep the group moving forward and to be a little bossy when needed.

At the end she was very grateful and we all knew we had really helped her, we had accomplished our mission – and she was generous in giving us some of her treasures too – and the project get done.

Today the questions for you are – Are you prepared? Do you have a point person to help you on your projects? Are you the kind of person who can take direction when there’s a common goal?

And lastly – are you using the lessons you learn? Next time I move I’m going to work off check lists, be generous in giving and play the happiest music I can find!

Remember, you create your day by the way you think! Make it magnificent!

Blessings, Shawna

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~ by Shawna Schuh on February 15, 2011.

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